Lexus planning range-topping CUV?

Lexus planning range-topping CUV?

Lexus is developing a new flagship model to be sold alongside its current range-topping LS, and it’s likely to be a crossover or SUV.

According to Reuters, Lexus Division General Manager Jeff Bracken told reporters on the sidelines of this week’s CAR Management Briefing Seminars that Lexus is planning the launch of a second high-end vehicle.

“It doesn’t have to be a sedan,” Bracken said, igniting speculation as to what form the new model will take. SUVs and crossovers are hot. Truck-based SUVs can still be quite successful, as Land Rover and Cadillac have proven, but Lexus only plays in the high-end space with the soon-to-be-replaced LX and the division is already scrambling to add more rows to its existing crossovers in an effort to fill gaps in its lineup.

Lexus execs have been lamenting the lack of a large, three-row CUV in showrooms for some time.

However, another possible interpretation of Bracken’s comments could point to the introduction of the production version of Lexus’ LF-LC coupe, which originally debuted in concept form way back in 2012.

Likely built on a shortened variation of the platform underpinnig the next-generation Lexus LS, rumored powerplants include a 5.0L V8 and a hybrid V8 capable of 500hp, both borrowed from existing Lexus sedans. Reports of a possible F version, powered by a twin-turbo V8 capable of over 600hp, have been floated as well.

The good news is, we won’t have to wait too long to find out. “We’ll define what it is in January,” Bracken assured reporters, suggesting an introduction at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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